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Netflix in Talks to Acquire Rebecca Hall’s ‘Passing’ in Near $16 Million Deal

Feb 3, 2021

Source: Variety

Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut already made a big splash with its Sundance Film Festival premiere — and the film is set to make even bigger noise, as Netflix is nearing a $16 million deal for worldwide distribution rights on the film, an individual with knowledge of the deal tells Variety.

Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga star in the project, based on the 1929 novella by Nella Larsen and adapted by Hall, about racial passing in 1920s New York.


‘Moonlight’ Actor André Holland Joins ‘Passing’ Adaptation From Rebecca Hall

Oct 22, 2019

Source: Deadline

André Holland, best known for his standout performance in Barry Jenkins’ Oscar-winning film Moonlight, has signed on to co-star in Passing, the film adaptation based on the Harlem Renaissance novel by Nella Larsen. Rebecca Hall is set to make her feature directorial debut with the project that has previously announced Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga attached to star.

The novel, published in 1929, explored the practice of racial passing, a term used for a person classified as a member of one racial group who seeks to be accepted by – and as – a different racial group. The story followed the unexpected reunion of two high school friends, Clare Kendry (Negga) and Irene Redfield (Thompson), whose renewed acquaintance ignites a mutual obsession that threatens both of their carefully constructed realities.


Neil Gaiman VR Experience ‘Wolves in the Walls’ Wins Primetime Emmy

Aug 23, 2019

Source: Variety

“Wolves in the Walls,” the virtual reality (VR) experience based on Neil Gaiman’s children’s book by the same name, has been awarded with a Primetime Emmy for outstanding innovation in interactive media. The experience has been produced by San Francisco-based immersive entertainment startup Fable, which puts a big effort on making the viewer a participating character in the story.

“It has been inspiring to be part of this juried award category,” said “Wolves in the Walls” director and co-creator Pete Billington. “We are humbled and grateful for the encouragement and recognition.”


Review: Irish revenge thriller ‘Black 47’ ups the intensity with a western-style turn

October 4, 2018

Source: LA Times

Set against the grim backdrop of Ireland’s Great Famine, Lance Daly’s “Black 47” is a visually arresting, Irish western-style revenge tale that maintains a firm directorial grip on the foreboding landscape.

Having abandoned his post fighting for the British army in Afghanistan, Feeney (Australian James Frecheville), a tough-as-nails Irish Ranger, returns home during the harsh winter of 1847 only to discover his mother dead from starvation and his brother hanged by English authorities.


Rebecca Hall To Make Directorial Debut With ‘Passing’; Tessa Thompson & Ruth Negga Star In Adaptation Of 1920s Novel

Aug 6, 2018

Source: Deadline

Rebecca Hall has set up Passing, an adaptation based on Nella Larsen’s 1920s Harlem Renaissance novel that explores the practice of racial passing, a term used for a person classified as a member of one racial group who seeks to be accepted by a different racial group.  Hall has penned the script and will direct in her feature helming debut, with Westworld star Tessa Thompson and Oscar nominee Ruth Negga attached to star in the film.

Margot Hand of Picture Films and Oren Moverman of Sight Unseen are producing, with Angela Robinson serving as executive producer.

First published in 1929, Passing follows the unexpected reunion of two high school friends, Clare Kendry (Negga) and Irene Redfield (Thompson), whose renewed acquaintance ignites a mutual obsession that threatens both of their carefully constructed realities.


Review: ‘Black ‘47,’ a Revenge Thriller Set During the Irish Famine

September 27, 2018

Source: The New York Times

A soldier returns home from a faraway war he didn’t understand, to a country he no longer recognizes. Seeking no more than peace for himself and his loved ones, he is denied. Soon the only family he has left is violently taken from him. He then transforms into an avenging berserker who will stop at nothing to punish the men who have deprived him of all he holds dear.

Sounds like the stuff of myth — and also like lots of post-Vietnam-era grindhouse action movies. Here it’s the plot of “Black ’47,” set in Ireland in 1847, when famine set off a massive wave of emigration and accelerated the conflict with the occupying British Empire.


Berlin Film Review: ‘Black 47’

February 16, 2018

Source:  Variety

“Maybe people would place more value on beauty if they could eat it,” says Conneely (Stephen Rea) during an atypically warm-toned fireside scene in Lance Daly’s powerful period revenge fable “Black 47.” His bland affability is such that you could almost miss the splinter of loathing in his eyes. The year is 1847, Ireland’s Great Famine is scarcely even approaching its devastating midpoint, and Conneely makes his barbed observation in response to an English landlord’s callous remark about how the ragged and starving locals show no appreciation for the stark grandeur of the Connemara landscape.


Altitude Strikes German Deal for Berlin-Bound ‘Black 47’

January 15, 2018

Source: Variety

Ascot Elite has picked up Irish period drama “Black 47” in German-speaking markets ahead of its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. The Hugo Weaving (“Hacksaw Ridge”) and Jim Broadbent (“Iris”) picture was announced Monday as part of the Berlinale’s official selection.

Altitude is handling international sales and will have “Black 47” at the European Film Market in Berlin, while CAA represents the film for North America.

Weaving and Broadbent are joined in the picture by James Frecheville (“Animal Kingdom”), Stephen Rea (“The Honourable Woman”), Freddie Fox (“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”), and Barry Keoghan (“The Killing of a Sacred Deer”). Irish actor Moe Dunford (“Patrick’s Day”) and Sarah Greene (“The Guard”) also appear.


Tribeca Film Festival Sets 'Hologram for the King,' 'Elvis & Nixon' World Premieres

March 2, 2016

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

The 2016 Tribeca Film Festival on Tuesday announced the second half of its feature film slate, including the world premieres of Roadside Attraction’s A Hologram for the King, starring Tom Hanks; James Lapine's Custody starring Viola Davis and Hayden Panettiere; Katie Holmes' feature directorial debut All We Had, and the historical comedy Elvis & Nixon starring Kevin Spacey and Michael Shannon.

A Hologram for the King, directed and written by Tom Tykwer. (USA, Germany) – World Premiere, Narrative. In Tom Tykwer’s wryly comic adaptation of Dave Eggers’ novel, Tom Hanks stars as a struggling American businessman who travels to Saudi Arabia to sell a new technology to the King, only to be challenged by endless Middle Eastern bureaucracy, a perpetually absent monarch, and a suspicious growth on his back. With Alexander Black, Sarita Choudhury, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Whishaw,  and Tom Skerritt.  A Roadside Attractions release.


First Look Photos:  Tom Hanks in Tom Tykwer's 'A Hologram for the King'

February 11, 2016

Source: Indiewire

“Cloud Atlas” might have been an ambitious folly, but if there’s one person who probably enjoyed the experience, it’s Tom Hanks. While the film is largely credited to the Wachowski siblings, one has to remember it was actually co-directed by German filmmaker Tom Tykwer, known for “Run Lola Run,” and it was said the Wachowskis handled the more fantastical elements of the film with Tykwer helming the more realistic sections.

Either way, what did Hanks pretty much do straight after ‘Atlas’? Sign up for Tom Tykwer’s next project, “A Hologram For The King,” and it’s a bit of a change of pace. It’s a German-American-produced comedy drama based on the 2012 novel of the same name written by Dave Eggers. The film stars Hanks, Tom Skerritt and Sarita Choudhury from “Homeland” and the dramedy tells the story of a washed-up, desperate American salesman who travels to Saudi Arabia to secure the IT contract for a massive new complex being built in the middle of the desert.


Bruce McKenna Writing Biopic on Russian Novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn

January 28, 2016

Source:  Variety

Primeridian Entertainment has tapped Bruce McKenna to adapt its untitled movie about Russian dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

The biopic is adapted from D.M. Thomas’s biography “Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century in His Life.”

Solzhenitsyn spent eight years in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet prison system, beginning in 1945, and wrote about his imprisonment in the 1973 book “The Gulag Archipelago.” He also wrote “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,” “Cancer Ward” and “August 1914.” He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970 “for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature.”

He was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974 due to his criticism of the totalitarian system, but returned to Russia in 1994 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He died in Moscow in 2008.

McKenna was the creator and co-executive producer of HBO’s “The Pacific,” and wrote three episodes of HBO’s “Band Of Brothers,” winning a Writers Guild Award. He also worked as a journalist in Russia.


In ‘99 Homes,’ a Man Buffeted and Then Manipulated in Florida’s Foreclosure Disaster

September 24, 2015

Source:  New York Times

“Don’t get emotional about real estate.” That bit of wisdom — among the mantras shared by a predatory broker named Rick Carver — is both upheld and defied by “99 Homes,” Ramin Bahrani’s stunningly effective melodrama of flipped houses and mortgaged souls. While the film hardly endorses Rick’s coldblooded, dog-eat-dog view of the world, it is too clear-eyed to oppose his ruthlessness with soft, easy appeals to sentiment. The foreclosed properties Rick acquires and resells may be repositories of hopes, dreams and family memories, but they’re also economic units, “boxes” to be emptied out, refilled and written down on a balance sheet. That’s a fact of life, and also a tragic contradiction.

Dennis Nash learns this lesson the hard way. A skilled construction worker idled by a sour economy — “99 Homes” seems to take place around 2010, in the recessionary aftermath of the financial crisis — Dennis (Andrew Garfield) is unable to keep up with his mortgage payments and so loses the modest house where he lives with his mother, Lynn (Laura Dern), and his young son, Connor (Noah Lomax). At the stroke of a pen, their world has come undone, and Mr. Bahrani captures the scene of his dispossession with almost unbearable precision, plunging the viewer into a storm of agonized feeling as Dennis struggles with rage, grief and shame at having been pulled, in front of his neighbors, into the ranks of society’s losers.


Cannes: Tom Hanks’ ‘A Hologram for the King’ Selling to Trio of Distribs

May 16, 2015

Source: Variety

Lionsgate, Saban Films and Roadside Attractions are teaming up to acquire U.S. rights to Tom Hanks’ comedic drama “A Hologram for the King,” one of the buzziest acquisition titles at the festival.

The trio entered final negotiations for the film Saturday.

CAA is repping the domestic rights while Lotus International is selling international markets in Cannes.

The film, shot last year in Morocco and Germany, is adapted from Dave Eggers’ novel of the same name with Tom Tykwer directing. “Hologram,” published in 2012, is set in a rising Saudi Arabian city, where a struggling businessman pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter’s college tuition and do something great.

Sarita Choudhury, Omar Elba, Tracey Fairaway, David Menkin and Tom Skerritt also star. Uwe Schott and Stefan Arndt of X Filme Creative Pool are producing with Arcadiy Golubovich and Timothy D. O’Hair of Primeridian, and Hanks and Gary Goetzman of Playtone in association with Silver Reel Entertainment and Fábrica de Cine.


A Venn Diagram of Love and Its Mutations: In Paul Haggis’s ‘Third Person,’ 3 Relationships Overlap

June 19, 2014

Source:  New York Times

In Paul Haggis’s film “Third Person,” Liam Neeson plays Michael, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who has lost his creative mojo and is holed up in a Paris hotel, completing his latest opus. Accompanying him but staying in a separate suite is his girlfriend, Anna (Olivia Wilde), a wacko celebrity journalist who has literary pretensions that Michael is quick to shoot down. They go at each other with the merciless cruelty of two egotists whose only harmonious moments are bouts of frantic sex.

Their story is one of three that run parallel, bump elbows and, at the very end, unconvincingly intersect in the manner of the multiple narratives of “Crash,” Mr. Haggis’s Oscar-winning movie. “Third Person” was filmed predominantly on sets at the Cinecittà studios in Rome, with that city effectively standing in for Paris and New York, as the film jumps from place to place.


Nicholas Meyer To Pen Cold War Space Race Pilot For Primeridian Entertainment

June 25, 2013

Source: Deadline

Primeridian Entertainment has tapped Star Trek vet Nicholas Meyer to script the pilot and treatment for an untitled TV series about the space race between the U.S. and USSR, spanning the end of WWII through the 1960s. The neophyte banner has optioned the rights to Matthew Brzezinski’s Red Moon Rising: Sputnik And The Hidden Rivalries That Ignited the Space Age for the project and is also in talks to enlist Cold War experts like Sergei Khrushchev, son of Nikita Khrushchev, to consult. Series will focus on the competition between superpowers as both countries attempt to build on the Nazis’ V-2 designs to grow their own space programs.


Primeridian Sets Alexander Solzhenitsyn Movie

May 17, 2013

Source:  Variety

Newly launched Primeridian Entertainment has hired Cyrus Nowrasteh to write and direct a feature film based on the life of Soviet dissident and author Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Primeridian’s Arcadiy Golubovich and Tim O’Hair, who introduced the project at Cannes, will produce and finance the project as the first feature under the Primeridian Entertainment banner.

The company has optioned rights to D.M. Thomas’ biography “Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century in His Life.” Nowrasteh will write the script with his wife, Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh. The couple recently collaborated on adapting Ann Rice’s “Christ the Lord.”

Solzhenitsyn (pictured) was a Red Army officer who, after being accused of anti-Soviet propaganda, was imprisoned from 1945 to 1953. He wrote “The Gulag Archipelago” and “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970.

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